This month has been a flurry of activity as I prepare for my first speaking engagement. Yay! I am so excited to be leading the Women’s Workshop for our church this Saturday. I have immersed myself in the information, which has been a huge blessing to me; and I will try to share it with you before too long.
This opportunity really got into my bones. I want to honor the LORD and the ladies who are attending with good preparation and a smooth delivery. Of course, I am not sure what my chances are of that smooth delivery, being as inexperienced as I am with this sort of event! And I am a writer more than a speaker. Now, don’t get me wrong, I do talk A LOT… unless you don’t count drivel and useless information. Writing allows me to more carefully choose my words, unless you do count grammatical errors and typos.
The pressure of a deadline has made for some late nights and has distracted me from other regular tasks. In July, I will be attending the Proverbs 31 Ministries’ She Speaks Conference again. And there will be many more late nights between now and then because most days I don’t really have more than a hour by myself. This hour is the time after hubby leaves for work, and before the kiddos get up, before our homeschooling day begins. So many other squeaky wheels get the grease at that time. But at midnight you could hear a pin drop!
God willing, this July, I will bring another book proposal to the P31 Writers and Speakers conference. I hope to get further along in the publishing process than I did last year. I felt very grateful that three out of four publishing editors “took” my proposal (to read) and one of them took it all the way to her Editorial Review Board (giving it her personal endorsement). It was awesome to make it to that level, even if, in the end, they declined. But the bottom line is: today I am not any closer to publishing this book than I was a year ago. Some days, I would like to just throw in the towel, except for the heavy burden of this idea.
This writing, about Hearing and Doing and Building our House Upon the Rock, is in my bones too.
I am thankful that the LORD has given me projects like these, but sometimes they give me a tummy ache! I don’t always have the time to work on writing. And sometimes I write in circles. Do you ever feel like you are just treading water? Staying afloat, but not progressing?
So this verse came to me recently; and the words burned in my heart. “For such a time as this [you were placed upon the Earth]…” (Esther 4:14). I feel like this is my Esther moment. Esther had an opportunity to do something really important. The stakes were higher than anything most people have experienced. Yet, every day, God gives each one of us opportunities to participate in His Plan too, to further the Kingdom. Sometimes I worry about this part: “And if you remain silent at this time [God will call upon someone else]” (Esther 4:14).
Have you had the feeling that life could very well pass you by, if you’re not careful? Not all of life. Just the chance to run in a really great race. We stay-at-home moms feel it while we are washing one more load of laundry and putting one more plate away. I also felt it when I was younger…worrying that I had made poor choices, which had put me on paths to dreary places. Now, looking from the smile lines in my mirror to the fresh face of my Sweet Girl, I see the passage of time. Every once in a while, I wonder…did I miss the sound of the starting gun?
There is this line from an Oscar winning movie; it is a quote from a real life person, Olympian and missionary Eric Liddell (thanks wiki!). Chariot’s of Fire (amazon link) is a true story, and it is too good for me to try to summarize here. But at one point, his sister scolds him for running races rather than going to the mission fields in China. She insinuates that he is not fulfilling God’s purpose for him. To Eric, racing is a temporary delay, but a great opportunity to use his fame to spread the gospel. He answers her carping complaints with peaceful assurance, saying,“I believe God made me for a purpose, but he also made me fast! And when I run, I feel His pleasure.”
If I am honest, this feeling of missing out or fear of falling short of “important” goals, is just my pride. I know that the LORD calls me to do all things without grumbling or complaining (Phil 2:14). He also calls me to do [each thing], whatever it is, to the Glory of God (1 Cor 10:31). So, if my heart is right, when I run (errands, or the dishwasher, or the vacuum), I feel His pleasure. When I write, I feel His pleasure too, even when He is the only one reading. And most of all I know that serving my family is the most important race; it is my mission field.
I remember that I am right where He placed me.
He will not be outmaneuvered by my failures.
And He is not caught off guard by any of the obstacles which I encounter.
…Let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart (Heb 12:1-3, NIV).
So tell me…do you long to do something more important, something that leaves a mark, but cannot fit it into your days? Do you have piles of dishes and loads of laundry that mock you? When your heart is feeling discouraged, stop, and feel His pleasure as you fold and wash… You are still running the race that He has set before you. Do you wonder if you are on the “right path”? Remember, that He who plans your steps is right there, running alongside you. Do you worry that you have wasted time and opportunity? Don’t forget that He has numbered our days and every moment belongs to Him.
Britta ~ I am justAgirl…just like you!